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"A Person's a Person, No Matter How Small": Children's Literature and Ethics




Wednesday 4th February

(Ramphal Building, International Portal: R0.12)

13:00-13:30 – Welcome and refreshments
13:30-14:30 – Dr Eileen John (Philosophy): Children’s Literature and Ethics
14:30-15:30 – Dr Maebh Harding (Law): Children’s Choices and Autonomy
15:30-16:00 – Break
16:00-17:00 – Catherine Lester (Film and Television): Horror for children

tanbottle.jpgThursday 5th February

(Reinvention Centre, Westwood)

09:30-10:00: Breakfast
10:00-11:00: Philip Gaydon (IATL): “Play up, play up, and play the game”: The Ethics of Sport in Children’s Literature
11:00-12:00: Dr Peter Sidebotham (Warwick Medical School): Dealing with child abuse and neglect in practice, theory, and literature

12:00-13:00: Lunch and discussion

13:00-14:00: Leila Rasheed (Creative Writing and Children’s Author): What we expect from children’s authors
14:00-15:00: Plenary: Creating transdisciplinary and innovative modules


“What is it to become an ethical being?”

This question is the foundation for the potential IATL module ‘Children’s Literature and Ethics’. However, it is also a question of central importance to human life. It is one which shapes much of our thinking and professional practice concerning child-adult interaction and pedagogical philosophies. As such, it is a truly interdisciplinary, or indeed transdisciplinary, question. It is one which requires the input of a variety of disciplines to be answered satisfactorily and its results may well exceed the boundaries of its constituent parts. It is also a question that demands a style of teaching and learning that engages not only with theory but with professional practice, life events, and attempts to capture and embody this development in different mediums.


“I cannot for the life of me understand why small children take so long to grow up. I think they do it deliberately, just to annoy me.” Matilda by Roald Dahl


This event is a taster of what the module has the potential to become. It will involve short talks and input from possible contributors from a number of departments, all of which will be drawn towards the overarching theme through workshop activities and discussion. Participating students and staff will be given the opportunity to sample not only the topics but what happens in such transdisciplinary and innovative modules and give feedback on the experience. There will also be the chance to input into the module’s continuing development. For any student thinking of taking the module, this is a particularly exciting opportunity!

“No man should bring children into the world unless he is willing to persevere to the end in their nature and education.” Plato’s Crito